Major League Lacrosse to Change Scenery with Expansion to Youth Hotbeds

Kevin W. RyanContributor IIIJune 25, 2012

DELAWARE, OH - JUNE 23:  Steele Stanwick #66 of the Ohio Machine runs with the ball against the Charlotte Hounds on June 23, 2012 at Selby Stadium in Delaware, Ohio.  (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Reports have confirmed that Major League Lacrosse could join LeBron James and take their talents to South Beach. 

The MLL is targeting a 2014 expansion to Boca Raton, Florida in order to expand the league to more than eight teams. 

Florida Atlantic University will play host to the MLL All-Star Game on Saturday, June 30th perhaps in an effort to test the fanbase for a possible expansion. In addition to Boca Raton, the MLL has targeted major cities like Dallas and Atlanta—all budding lacrosse hot spots.

Expanding Major League Lacrosse to the southern United States would be extremely beneficial to the growth of the game. 

As of now, the four most popular lacrosse "hotbeds" are Maryland, New York, New Jersey and New England. Without question, the most talented lacrosse players primarily sprout from the East Coast, however the popularity of the sport is growing nationwide. 

Despite the MLL relocating two West Coast franchises in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the entire West Coast, and the nation, has participated in the fastest growing sport in America. 

What's unique about professional lacrosse is that unlike the MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL, there are two separate professional field lacrosse leagues, the MLL and LXMPRO—a nationwide event that begins by showcasing a high school or college level game, followed by the LXMPRO squads and concluding with a concert. The full-day event is a unique twist to the traditionalist methods of field lacrosse, however it is extremely enjoyable and the LXM rosters are loaded with top-shelf talent

Following the 2012 MLL expansion, the league added franchises in Columbus, Ohio and Charlotte, North Carolina giving the league eight clubs. Currently, the MLL has franchises in Ohio, North Carolina, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Colorado and Canada, with the end goal of targeting expansion to 16 professional franchises by 2020.